With A Heavy Heart I leave Podcasting…
Posted by Jake Bible
So I’m sitting here and I’m struggling. No big deal really since struggle is my middle name. Actually my middle name is… oh, who cares. You see, the problem, the reason I’m struggling is because I am a person that has always ripped his life apart and rebuilt it from the burning ashes of my former existence. It has always worked for me in the past, but that was way back when I didn’t have two kids, two mortgages, two jobs, etc.
That was back when all I had to be responsible for was myself.
Now, through the years of kids, mortgages, jobs, etc I have had the good fortune of having my life ripped apart for me. No choice in the matter meant I could just say, “Such is Karma.” I had always landed on my feet before and I never had any doubt I would again. Karma was kind and the life that rose from the ashes was always exactly as it should be.
But now I find myself in a place that Karma doesn’t want to touch. I think I played all my Get Out Of Jail Free cards. I am left to do the dirty work all by my lonesome. And there be dirty work that needs doing.
What is that dirty work? I need to walk away from podcasting. And, since I just launched my latest podcast novel, it’s a pretty shitty time to walk away. I know there will be many people upset by this and I know that some negative mojo will be flung my way. But such is the life of a struggling writer. I do apologize for leaving Metal and Ash unfinished (the podcast at least. Novel is available!), but the reality is that I don’t know when it could get finished. Time and life have not been kind lately and I need to take a few hundred steps back and reinvent my writing career.
I started podcasting to build awareness of my novel, DEAD MECH, and grow an audience and maybe attract publishers. I did those things and I am forever grateful. But as I have said from day one of the podcast, I have approached writing as a business. And, honestly? Business ain’t so good.
Sure, I have an average of about 1,300 to 2,000 podcast downloads a week, but lately that hasn’t translated into sales. It used to, way back when. It used to for a lot of people. But that was before, or at least right at the beginning, of ebooks. Ebooks changed the podcasting landscape.
Podcasting was once the best way to get your novel out to an audience electronically. Sure, you could post it online or blog it, but it didn’t have the new fangled smell that podcasting did. The iPod was all the rage and iTunes made it so easy for all parties to participate in something we thought was going to be the next wave of media. New Media, it was called.
Well, to quote Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, “The world has moved on”.
IPods aren’t so special anymore, and who has time to listen to 20+ hours of a free novel. I know, I know, Audible.com (an Amazon company) has been growing and growing. But that’s because people are paying for that content. If you pay for something you are certainly going to take the time to listen to it! Not so much for free podcasts. I know that of those 1,300 to 2,000 downloads each week only a very small percentage are being listened to.
At least right away.
And here is the rub: I podcast as promotion and marketing for my writing. If no one is listening, at least when I need them to be, then all of that promotion and marketing is nothing but empty air. I’ve tested it, just in case you are wondering how I know what I know. I have been plugging my YA novel, Little Dead Man. If I were to even get a 1% return on the 1,300 downloads each week then I should be selling 13 copies a week. I am not. Not even close to that. I’ve also been testing it by asking folks to follow me on Twitter and to like my Facebook page. Sure, not everyone is into the Twitter or the Facebook. But if we go with the 1% rule again? 13 a week. And still not happening.
That means that the hours and hours of time I put into my podcast aren’t doing me any good except for entertaining some folks for free. And as much as I’d like to entertain folks, I just can’t do it for free any more. You may ask what it costs me? Time. A huge amount of time. And stress. It is not relaxing having to record and then wait for the episodes to be produced and then launch them and then watch the downloads happen…and no sales to go with them. I can’t waste that time any longer. I have to use it efficiently and wisely because time is money. Especially for a writer. Just the time I’m using to write this podcasting obituary is killing me. I need to be editing a manuscript, working on my next novel, and writing some short stories for submission. The time pressure is going to drive me to drink and we’ve all seen that tale play out before.
So what am I going to do? I’m going to write. I’m going to write and write and write.
That’s what writers do.
I am going to work on new novels, and these will be in many genres, not just scifi or horror. I am going to go back to writing short fiction. Since I won’t be podcasting anymore I will need to get my name back out there. Getting published in the pro magazines is one way to do that. I’m at a point in my career that I know I can put out a good body of short fiction that will get published. Gotta expose myself! Well…you know what I mean.
It’s kind of funny in a way. After all the New Media hype, and the advent of social media, I find that the old way of being a writer and doing things is what feels right to me. I’m going to write, I’m going to submit, I’m going to publish, and I’m going to wait. And while I wait I’m going to write, I’m going to submit, and I’m going to publish. I’ll still be on Twitter and Facebook so don’t worry, I’m not dropping off the face of the planet or anything. There will be plenty of Jake Bible Fiction for all! Just on the page only.
And now for the ten million pound elephant in the room…
I know I’m going to catch shit for this. I know I am going to be raked over the coals and there will be some that will hate me for this. I know at one point I said I’d podcast all of my fiction for free FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE! Guess what? Life has a way of making one eat their words. Life is currently shoving my words down my throat. And laughing while doing said shoving.
So feel free to hate me, to lambast me, to smear my name across the social media world. Do what you feel you have to. I’ll do what I feel I have to.
And what I feel I have to do is gear down and focus on my writing. Not on podcasting.
I hope you can forgive me. I hope you can find it in your heart to not rip me a new one. Trust me I’ve already torn myself apart just figuring all of this out.
I hope y’all can still support my work. I have TONS of great ideas just waiting to be put to paper. And I know you won’t be disappointed if you stick with me!
So, in reference to podcasting I bid you farewell. And for my writing I greet you warmly!
Posted on March 7, 2013, in Dead Mech Podcast, Metal and Ash, The Americans Podcast, What's Up.... and tagged bible, dead mech, drabble, genre, Jake Bible, novel, podcasts, science fiction, scifi, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.